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Rehabilitative alimony: Know what to expect

Alimony is an important part of many people's divorce settlements. As someone who gave your time and effort in marriage, you may have taken a step back to support your spouse. Perhaps you stayed home with your children or worked to help your spouse pay for college in hopes of reaping the benefits later in your marriage.

Whatever the case may be, alimony can be a good way to get compensated for that hard work and support. Your spouse, now earning more than you, may need to pay you a substantial amount monthly or in a lump-sum payment, to make sure you're financially supported following divorce.

How long is alimony paid?

Most alimony is rehabilitative. That means that you won't receive it forever. However, if you are going through a gray marriage, where you are 50 or older, you may be able to receive permanent alimony. Each situation is different, which is something to discuss with your attorney.

In typical cases, alimony is paid only for a short time to make sure the recipient is capable of supporting themselves until they're able to get a better job or work their way up in their career. Tentatively, some people say that alimony is paid around half the length of time that the marriage lasted, but this is not always the case.

How much you can expect depends on a number of factors, like the length of your marriage, each party's health and other concerns. Your attorney can sit down and talk through the specifics of your case with you, so you know what to expect.

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